Bill Donohue to save Catholic Church from its rape victims

by Susie
Disrespect toward the Catholic Church is whatever Bill Donohue decides it is (he was last heard from attacking Madonna’s Super Bowl half-time show), and now he’s decided to go after SNAP, the survivors’ group for victims molested first by priests, and then by their local dioceses and their crack legal teams. I’m glad I live in Philadelphia, where the local D.A. had the cajones to take on the church and bring criminal charges. In fact, I’d like some enterprising local reporter to ask our new archbishop what he thinks about this statement in light of Bill’s latest crusade:

“The Catholic League has the courage to speak up candidly and forcefully for the Church when circumstances call for fighting the good fight. The League should be on every Catholic’s short list of essential organizations to support.”

— Most Rev. Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia

As to the Catholic League, well, sometimes I suspect they have more board members than actual rank and file members (and what moderate board members they are!): Wingers like Brent Bozell, Linda Chavez, Alan Keyes, the far-right Democrat Michael Novak and Kate O’Beirne, just to name a few. Diversity all the way from A to B!

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, believes that the Catholic church has gone too easy on the survivors of sex abuse by clergy, and has vowed to fight them “one by one,” says a post at the blog Right Wing Watch.

In an interview with Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times, Donohue says that in the past the church “has been too quick to write a check” to individuals who report being victimized by pedophile priests. He believes that the church should fight each case “one by one,” ostensibly to save money “in the long run.”

He said that Catholic bishops should “toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough” in the fight against victims of sex abuse. “We don’t need altar boys.”

I can’t use the words I’d like to use to describe this big bully, but you can rest assured that he’s got at least some of the famously rigid and conservative church hierarchy behind him. So now the American church’s cardinals and archbishops have to make a choice: More toxic PR fallout from allowing Donahue to attack people who were raped as children, or try to hold onto the cash? Hmm.

Currently Donohue is backing the efforts of lawyers defending two Missouri priests accused of multiple counts of child molestation. Attorneys for the priests have issued subpoenas to the victims’ advocacy group the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), seeking “more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists,” according to the New York Times article.

SNAP is not involved in the Missouri case, but Donohue believes that the attacks are warranted because, in his words, “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic church.” The subpoenas, thanks to their exhaustiveness, are calculated to distract, bankrupt and embarrass the organization.

SNAP’s national director David Clohessy has been deposed in the Missouri case, but is resisting the subpoenas, saying they’re not just a fishing expedition, but a “fishing, crabbing, shrimping, trash-collecting, draining the pond expedition,” whose real mission is to “harass and discredit and bankrupt SNAP, while discouraging victims, witnesses, whistle-blowers, police, prosecutors and journalists from seeking our help.

Anyone can play that game, Bill. Sure there’s nothing in your own life you wouldn’t want to see exposed in public? After all, the process of discovery works both ways. I mean, you describe yourself as a former college professor, but it really sounds more like you were a mere adjunct—in other words, a part-timer. Your only college job was at a small Catholic school that was so unsuccessful, they had to affiliate with the sketchy for-profit Art Institute to stay afloat.

By the way, Bill, why do you only attack pro-choice Catholics when they’re Democrats?

I see you also collect wingnut welfare as a “scholar” at the Heritage Foundation. You also served for twenty years on the board of the National Association of Scholars, a non-profit organization in the United States that opposes multiculturalism and affirmative action and seeks to counter what it considers a “liberal bias” in academia. It’s funded by the usual suspects: the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation. More wingnut welfare! Nice work if you can get it:

Washington, DC – Controversial Catholic League president William Donohue – whose work has now gained the support of the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – earned a salary of $342,500 in 2009, with an additional $56,656 in fringe benefits. According to annual IRS Form 990 filings, the organization spent more than $2.6 million in 2009, despite the fact that its program work constitutes little more than the issuing of inflammatory press releases.

[…] The IRS filings list other examples of lavish spending. The organization shells out $335,914 for its midtown Manhattan office space, and compensates vice president Bernadette Brady to the tune of $203,727. An additional $57,826 is spent on office equipment.

As organizations go, the Catholic League is a “non-profit” in name only. In 2009 it pocketed $943,516 in excess revenue, down from $1.35 million in 2008. As of the most recent filings, the Catholic League reported $26.2 million in net assets.

Goodness, Bill, when was the last time you held a real job? You know, out in the free market?

And what about that divorce, Bill? Why only two children? Anything you want to share before you’re deposed?

7 Responses to Bill Donohue to save Catholic Church from its rape victims

  1. polyblog March 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    “We don’t need altar boys.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    A Freudian slip, perhaps. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Now I’ll get a clean cloth to wipe off my keyboard. Thanks, Susie…I needed that.

  2. Pragmatic Realist March 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    One time after Donahue had delivered one of his diatribes on “Hardball”, Chris Matthews said, “When I listen to him I hear my gut talking.”

    Is it any wonder that this guy still has the prominence that he does?

  3. Judy Jones March 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    This vicious attack on SNAP/victims tells us only one thing.

    To all victims who have been sexually abused by clerics, your voices are strong, powerful, and being heard…!..
    The church officials can’t shut us up. They can’t shove all the victims back under their control of silence.

    The can of worms has been opened, and that is only because very brave victims of clergy sex abuse are speaking up, coming forward, contacting the police, exposing the truth, and trying their hardest to not allow another child to be given the life sentence of harm which they were dealt.

    For those who wish to help …On our website – – are simple suggestions for helping victims beat back this assault against them by top Catholic officials. Please check it out. Thanks.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511
    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests” and all clergy.

    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
    SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is

  4. Annette Nestler March 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm #


    Annette Nestler (SNAP Southern New Jersey)

  5. Izquierdo March 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Why haven’t the criminal bishops and cardinals who failed to report these crimes, and covered them up instead, been prosecuted? And why haven’t they ALL (priests and administrators) been demoted, defrocked, and stripped of their pensions and privileges?
    Why do they get a pass on this?

    And why aren’t Gingrich and Sanctorum being asked tough questions about their stances (sorry, Larry Craig) on the criminality rampant in their church.

    Given Sanctorum’s copious recent frothy pronouncements on non-reproductive sex, he surely must have some interesting opinions about the priests that practice it on non-consenting partners, and on the church higher-ups whose actions condone it.

    Why haven’t the 98% of priests who are blameless in this regard come out, united, to decry the corruption in the upper echelons of their church. Given the dire shortage of priests, surely they wouldn’t be fired if the stuck together.

    Where are the Wycliffes, Husses, and Luthers?

  6. Imhotep March 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    There are some things that are sacrosanct in this country. One of these is the Catholic Church. Others are Capitalism, Evangelical Christians, Israel and the 1%. Attack any of those and expect a shit storm.

  7. David O'Regan March 14, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    Bill Donohue despicable behavior hurts the lowly the downtrodden (wounded/victims) who Christ came to minister. Holy Scripture addresses his rants! 1 Corinthians 13:1” If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal”.

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